Respected Nirmala Seetharamanji,
Employees: We demand
i. Five days week for Banks for the next 3 months
ii. Incentive for Bank Employees in form of One Day additional salary for every 5 days work
iii. Alternate day working for Bank Employees
iv. Immediate credit of Rs. 1,500 ( all three instalments together) instead of in 3 instalments of Rs. 500 every month in Jan Dhan Accounts to avoid rush in Bank Branches for withdrawal in next two months also
v. insurance cover to protect bank employees as given to Doctors/Nurses/Para-Medical staff
By the time you receive this letter, we would have already entered 3rd stage of COVID-19. Government of India has been toiling day and night to address every issue right from guiding States to ensure providing of uninterrupted essential services in addition to providing safety and security of both common man and the staffs involved in providing these services.
Initial package of Rs.15,000 crore was declared to provide effective medical equipments and necessary medical facilities. Thereafter the package of Rs.1,70,000 crore was also declared to take care of weaker sections, Women Jan Dhan account holders, farmers, Migrant Workers etc.
In addition to this even RBI came to the rescue by Rate Cut of 75bps to 4.4%, Reverse Repo cut by 90bps at 4%. Liquidity measures for banks are also taken by reducing CRR by 100bps to 3% for a period of 1 year which will release Rs.1,37,000 crore will get released across the banking system. Daily CRR is reduced from 90% to 80% till June 2020. This liquidity measure will inject Rs.3,74,000 crore to the system. Moratorium of 3 months for term loans, deferment of interest on Working Capital for 3 months etc.
All these measures are welcome step and we appreciate this. However, looking into the grave economic situation, how far and by when these measures will reach at the ground level is the question for which we will have to wait for some days to get the results. SMEs and MSMEs are eagerly waiting for further relief to stand on their feet. It is good that Insurance cover of Rs.50 lakh per person for Doctors/Nurses/Para-medical staff who are endangering their lives have been provided.
Measures for Bank Employees:
Vide our letter 23rd March 2020 we had appealed to your good-self to issue common guidelines to all Bank employees which shall not discriminate one bank employee to other. On 27th March 2020, SBI has come out with e-circular whereby they are giving incentive of one days salary (Basic Pay + DA) from 23.03.2020 to 14.04.2020 for every 6 working days on which an employee has worked. Union Bank has also come out with circular of incentive of one-time lump sum amount of Rs.1,000/- to all employees to cover expenses incurred towards purchase of masks, sanitizers, liquid soap etc. to see them through this crisis. This is creating frustration amongst other bank employees whose management has not come out with any of such relief. They feel betrayed and neglected at ground level.
We would like to point out here that SBI Chairman is also the Chairman of IBA ; then why a similar common incentives cannot be given to all bank employees? Why there is discrimination amongst employees in the same industry? Are other bank employees not performing similar duties to that of SBI? Frustration is rising amongst bank employees at ground level.
From tomorrow or at the most by Monday Jan Dhan women account holders, SHGs, Farmers and beneficiaries of DBT would rush to the branches and again the risk of social distancing would crop up and the lives of bank employees at branches would be endangered.( Already toll of Bank Employees is taken in Branches of many Banks due to Corona Virus.)
As Bank Employees will be exposed more and more in serving/ultimate delivery of the measures/package announced by the Government, we suggest the following measures for safeguarding Bank Employees:
We once again suggest providing banking services with minimal alternate banking staff so that social distance amongst bank employees can also be maintained. Similarly, 5 days week with a monetary incentive of one day addition salary can also be initiated on temporary basis for three months, in all Banks. We demand insurance cover to protect bank employees as given to Doctors/Nurses/Para-Medical staff which would boost and build confidence amongst the bank employees. We suggest that the full amount of Rs, 1,500 should be disbursed in one instalment, instead of in 3 instalments of Rs. 500, as to avoid rush in Bank Branches for next 2-3 months.
You are once again requested to give suitable directions either to Chief of Financial Services or IBA to issue common measures and common incentives which will not only motivate the bank employees’ at ground level but would also ensure safe and secure banking services to the customers at this need of hour.
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